Today Google announced the Chromebook Pixel, an often-leaked touchscreen notebook computer that runs Chrome OS and is optimized for web browsing and cloud storage. The problem is that there is nothing that really sets the Chromebook Pixel apart from just about any other notebook computer to make it a compelling buy. In fact, it looks like a pretty stupid buy.
Let's talk about the price of the Pixel for a moment. You can buy a fantastic Windows 8 PC or MacBook Air for the same price, both of which would blow away the Pixel in terms of usability. The Chromebook requires you to be connected to the Internet to be useful in any way, since it relies on cloud-based apps. A Mac or PC allows you to actually install apps on them, which you can launch when you are away from Wi-Fi, and get work done in.
Today Google announced the Chromebook Pixel, a touchscreen notebook that seems to be Google's most confusing product offering. What's so weird about the Chromebook Pixel? We'll get to that shortly--first, let's go through a rundown of the specs.
Google is touting the Chromebook Pixel as the perfect notebook computer for anyone who spends the majority of their computing time in the browser and using cloud services. It's got a 12.85-inch display with a 3x2 aspect ratio, offering 18% more vertical space than a 16x9 display offers. Google is proud of this display, what with its 2,560 x 1,700 pixel resolution with 239 ppi density and 400nit brightness. Oh, and it's also a touchscreen, so you can interact with it directly with your fingertips.
Now that you've watched the entire Google I/O 2012 day 1 keynote, it's time to turn your attention towards the day 2 affair. We know, day one was packed full of a bunch of hardware announcements, so what more could Google have to say? Turns out, quite a bit. Day two brought us Google Chrome for iOS, Google Drive for iOS and Chrome OS, Google Docs offline capabilities, Chromebooks coming to retail stores like Best Buy, and Google Compute Engine, a rival to Amazon Web Services EC2. Kick back and check out the video of the presentation below--it's over an hour long, so you might wanna grab yourself something to drink.
In addition to Samsung announcing a drop in the price of its Chromebook Series 5, the company's New York City Samsung Experience center in Columbus Circle is also loaning them out for a free, seven-day trial.
Samsung has redone the front of its store to feature something akin to Apple's Genius Bar—only with more color—where you can log on to a Chromebook, check email, and get a feel for the machine (provided you have a Gmail account). If you want to check one out, you'll need to provide a government issued ID and have a credit card on hand—the credit card provides security just in case you decide that you want to keep it, for which you'll be charged $449.
The unit Samsung is renting out come with Verizon 3G and Wi-Fi, and a handy laptop bag in which to tote the Chromebook around. After the Series 5 notebook has been registered to you, you'll receive an email asking to schedule a "Get to Know Your Chromebook" session, where a representative with take you through the ins and outs of the notebook. Or if you prefer not to talk to people, there's a handy support page that walks you through some of the things to know about Chromebook.
With the manufacturing cost throw in, the Chromebook costs $334.32 to produce. Despite Google's emphasis on the software, meanwhile, iSuppli finds that it's the hardware that really makes the Chromebook sing.
"As much as Google would like to de-emphasize the role of user hardware, it is the hardware, in fact, that defines the Chromebook and will determine the success of the platform," Wayne Lam, a senior analyst at IHS, said in a statement.
The Chromebook includes "some advanced hardware features not typically found in low-cost notebooks," iSuppli said.
The motherboard is the most expensive part of Samsung's Chromebook, at $86.37, or 26 percent of the total bill of materials. The motherboard includes a 2GB Double Data Rate 3 (DDR) SDRAM, as well as a dual-core Intel Atom N570 processor and a Trusted Platform Module (TPM) for computing security from Infineon Technologies, which is most commonly found on enterprise-level computers, iSuppli said.
Yesterday, Google announced the availability of the Chromebook line at Google I/O 2011. You can see our news on the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook and Acer Chromebook from yesterday, but I was also featured on our local news here in Seattle to talk about the steps Google is taking to move the OS into the cloud. We've embedded that clip above. Enjoy!
We've got another Chromebook to cover today, as the Acer Chromebook was announced this morning at Google I/O 2011, in addition to the Samsung Series 5 model. This one is smaller, with an 11.6-inch display, Intel Atom N570 processor, 16 GB SSD, two USB ports, HDMI, and a battery that lasts for 6.5 hours. Google promises an 8-second boot time on these as well. The Acer model seems to be the budget line, as these are going to sell for $349 for the Wi-Fi model (if you want worldwide 3G, those cost a bit more.) Look for these on June 15th at Amazon and Best Buy.
Read More | Acer Chromebook
Google has finally set the path for the introduction of Chrome OS devices to go on sale to the general public, as they announced plans this morning at Google I/O 2011 for the introduction of Chromebooks. First up is the Samsung Series 5, which packs in a dual-core 1.66 GHz Intel Atom N570 processor, 16 GB SSD, 8.5 hour battery, 12.1-inch display, and 802.11n Wi-Fi. Other nicities include things like an HD webcam, clickable trackpad, two USB ports, and optional 3G. The Series 5 weighs in at 3.26 pounds, and you'll be able to get one from Amazon or Best Buy starting June 15th. If you are fine with just Wi-Fi, those will run for $429, but if you want worldwide 3G (which includes 100 MB of Verizon data per month for free,) that will cost $499.
Read More | Samsung Series 5